We drove to Orlando on Wednesday to visit Universal Studios before our Friday, 4 Dec 10 departure out of Ft. Lauderdale. We took the cruise only to experience the Oasis and see for ourselves all the hoopla about her. We been to the ports several times so they were not as important as sailing on the Oasis.
Embarkation - We arrived at the port around 12:30 am and were onboard and at the Windjammer around 1:00. Embarkation was quick and easy. Disembarkation was equally painless. It didn't hurt that we were diamond this cruise.
Room - Our room (D1 -7600, Fwd hump, Starboard) was ready at 1:00. The room was considerably smaller than we expected. We've had D1 rooms before and this one was at least 10 percent narrower but similar in length with a larger balcony. Storage space was adequate for 2 over packers but the lack of drawers was definitely noticed by the DW. The bathroom has one sink with some storage shelves on the side for our personal stuff. The shower has a rounded set of doors but was still smaller than other ships. I (5'8", 195 lbs) was constantly hitting the sides with my arms and elbows trying to shower. The DW, 5'4", 115 lbs soaking wet even noticed she also kept hitting her elbows trying shower. I can't imagine any larger-built person even being able to reach all their parts below the waist in one of those showers! Claustrophobia comes to mind to me! Gerry with a G was our room steward, what an outstanding person. He can't be described, you have to experience his service to appreciate his professionalism and sense of humor. Nothing was too small or large for him and the service was always with a smile. Room service was quick and easy with the onscreen ordering and phone verification. The DW fell in love with the Spinach/Artichoke dip for a midnight snack.
Windjammer - The setup/design were not adequate for the size ship, period. The food was excellent. We ate a couple of breakfasts, lunches, and 2 dinners there and we (4 of us) were quite surprised how good the food was. The consistency of the food quality was remarkable. I would recommend waiting for an hour after opening to go there as the crowd thinned out a bit after the first hour.
My Time Dining- Opus Deck 5 - We did not reserve a seating time except for once and we never waited more than 15 minutes to get in--even on the busiest evenings. We ate supper 4 times on My Time Dining. The food again was exceptional. The service was exceptional no matter where we sat. We sat in 4 different areas and the waiters and assistant waiters were professional and provided quick and fast service every time. The head waiter for each area stopped by and chatted with us, ensuring we were satisfied and had no problems.
Park Cafe - We had lunch in the Park Cafe once and it was excellent as was the service. It became a bit busy at lunchtime so I'd recommend going to lunch around 1 pm to avoid the crowd. We snacked there a couple of times and the quality of the food never faltered.
Solarium Cafe - We had lunch there once and the food was excellent but I'm not one for health food and I considered it a limited eating venue.
Specialty restaurants - Due to our traveling companions tastes we cancelled them. We heard nothing but good things about their food but I can't give you a personal opinion.
Shows - We did 4 shows. Frozen in Time ice skating show was fabulous and definitely worth seeing. The 2 Aqua Theater shows (1 evening(forgot name) show and Friday Splish/Splash Comedy were great but you need a swivel for a neck to catch everything that is occurring. The Come Fly with Us show was very good but again you need a swivel neck to catch everything going on.
Casino - I won $1,350 on a video poker and the $450 at 3-Card Poker. The rest of the machines were hitting but not for us. DW won $300 or $400 at 3-Card as well plus spent many an hour at the video poker machines. The casino is split in half for a smoking side and non-smoking side and was fairly busy on both sides most nights. The smoke smell can be noticed at one bank of machines over from the bar on the nonsmoking side. It was strong even for us smokers to noticed it.
Spa - Didn't do it, cost way too much .
Bars - We didn't spend much time in the bars since most do not offer a smoking area. The ones we did happen upon seemed mostly empty when we went in.
Value for the money - We got a very good price since we had booked well in advance and got a price reduction before the prices on D1s went back up.
Overall Impression: As I said before we were not as interested in the ports as much as sailing on the Oasis. The Oasis is a beautiful ship, the service was normally exceptional, and we were not disappointed. Everyone from the crew members to the wait staff to the service staff were exceptional and seemed to genuinely care that the cruise met or exceeded our expectations. One bad point: There was a sewage smell noted when we boarded and occasionally we noticed it during the cruise in various locations. It only seemed to notice it for short periods then it would be gone.
Personal Opinion: Like all opinions take it with a grain of salt. We really enjoyed the time spent on the Oasis and enjoyed everything we did while onboard but... This ship was just too big for our tastes. The ship seemed geared for young families and I suspect that is RCCL's intent. They offer so much onboard it was hard to take it all in. A lot of space appears to be geared to young kids and teens or grown-ups that haven't grown up yet.